Air Ambulance charities urge next government to help boost their income

Air ambulance charities have come together to urge the main political parties to help their sector cope with the cost-of-living crisis and a reliance on income from fundraising, should they form the next government after July’s general election.

Membership body Air Ambulances UK, alongside its member charities, warns that the average cost of an air ambulance helicopter mission has increased by 4% to £4,110 over the last two years.

However, air ambulance charities “receive no day-to-day government funding” and “are almost entirely funded by the generosity of local communities”.

It is calling on the next government to “support the air ambulance community to enhance methods of income generation through distribution of UK-wide grants and capital funding”.

This would help at “ensuring that air ambulance charities can operate effectively with equitable service provision to continue to meet the surge in demand and increased operational costs”.

There are 21 air ambulance charities UK wide, attending an increasing number of incidents, according to recent data.

In 2023 they attended more than 46,000 missions, a 53% hike on figures for 2021.

Air ambulance charities are also calling for a greater say in local decision making to protect hospital helipads and community landing sites.

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